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tv   Special Report With Bret Baier  FOX News  March 4, 2010 4:00am-5:00am EST

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bye, always a pleasure. bill shultz, you suck. >> bret: next on "special report." president obama pushes another plan for healthcare reform, this time with some republican ideas. we'll have details, reaction and a look at the g.o.p. plan for tort reform. if healthcare comes down to recreation, no, ma'am c some ca nuclear option, could it blow up in the democrats' faces? we walk you through it. one of the most powerful lawmakers in washington step down from the leadership post amid a scandal. will the wild west again be won by republicans? all that plus the fox all-stars right here, right now. ♪ ♪ >> bret: welcome to washington. i'm bret baier. for the second time in ten days, president obama unveiled his own proposal for healthcare reform.
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this plan contains ideas from republicans. republicans have other ideas about the whole process. white house correspondent wendell goler explains. >> declaring now is the time to make a decision, president obama rejected republican call cans s s to restart the healthcare debate and warned americans they won't have what they have if congress fails to act. >> if we throw up our hands and go away, it's a problem that will only get worse. >> reporter: he blamed insurance companies for rising costs that affect everyone. >> families can't afford it. businesses can't afford it. the federal government can't afford it. >> reporter: with polls suggesting most people want congress to start over, republicans said the president and democratic congressional leaders are out of touch. >> so this is really not an argument between democrats and republicans. this is an argument between democrats and the american people. >> reporter: the white house says four republican proposal from last week's healthcare summit were added to the
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president's plan, including low-cost insurance option for young people, combining health saving account with high deductible policies and anti-investigator fraud team. pilot program to resolve medical malpractice dispute outside of court. increase in medicaid reimbursement so more doctors will accept low-income patients. for republicans, however, it was not enough. >> you can't add a couple of republican sprinkles on the top after 2700-page bill and claim it's bipartisan. >> reporter: the white house say republicans caricature of the bill as unwielding and excited though it contains 160 g.o.p. amendments. republicans say they want incremental improvement using competition to reduce cost and make coverage more affordable, but the president says you can't prevent insurance company setting benefit limits and refusing to cover the sick unless everybody is in the pool. >> the fact is health reform only works if you take care of all of these problems at once. >> plans to bypass the
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filibuster through the recreation drawn challenges from democrats. president obama before challenged inappropriate use of recreation saying, "a vehicle designed for deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility has been hijacked to facilitate reckless deficits and unsustainable debt." now republicans suggest using it now would be political suicide. >> they use recreation at their peril. i said before if pelosi rams this bill through in recreation she'll lose her majority in november. >> reporter: bart stupak says unless the senate toughens the abortion language, some lawmakers who supported health reform in the house may not support the measure in reconciliation. >> i'll bet you that won't come close to passing. it will be defeated soundly. members do not want to vote for it. not only do they not like the bill, the process has been taint and we're not going to attach our names to it.
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>> reporter: bret, it may not be possible to change the abortion language because reconciliation was designed to be a budget fix. >> bret: much more on this in the panel. wendell goler live in the north lawn. thank you. well, congressional democrats took another hit today with the departure of veteran new york congressman charles rangel from his high-profile leadership position. national corresponde correspond centanni tells us why he did what he did and whether the move is permanent. >> reporter: as political pressure built, rangel saw the writing on the wall and seemed to have little choice but to step aside as chairman as the powerful house ways and means committee. >> in order to avoavoid my colleagues having to defend me during their elections, i have this morning sent a letter to speaker pelosi asking her to grant me a leave of absence.
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>> reporter: just last week the house ethics committeed a mon niched wrang -- admonished rangel travelling to caribbean twice in violation of corporate rules. that's when they began turning their backs on him. even a member of the congressional black caucus, davis of alabama, called for his resignation. rangel's troubles are speaker pelosi's embarrassment, since she promised three years ago to clean house. >> we keep the promise to drain the swamp that is washington, d.c., to let sunshinedy infect the congress. >> rangel met with pelosi for 40 minutes last night. and when asked afterwards if he would stay on as chairman, he said, "you bet your life." republicans who planned wednesday to introduce a resolution removing the chairman questioned whether rangel is stepping aside temporarily. >> as i understand the rules of the house, you are either the chairman or you are not. >> reporter: mr. boehner appears to be right. even though rangel requested
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a leave of absence pending further findings of the ethics committee, in fact his move is the same as a resignation under house rules. when asked by fox news for a clarification, rangel offered only this -- >> if there is anyone that needs clarification, it's the speaker. not you. >> reporter: meantime the ethics committee continues to look at allegations that rangel used house stationery to raise money and failed to pay taxes on vacation rental, used rent-controlled apartment in harlem, stored his broken down mercedes benz in house parking garage and made incomplete financial disclosure. pete stark takes over of ways and means for the time being. he is the outspoken california who last year was cleared on ethics charges including his property tax payments. >> bret: steve, thank you. new york democratic congressman eric nassau will not seek another term in office. he underwent his third major cancer scare in december. spl
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politico has been enforced that he sexually harassed a male staffer. he denies the allegation because admits he uses what he calls salty language and tries to do better. steny hoyer said he had some indication of the allegations. illinois democrat senate candidate ginulius says the bank owned by his family will probably fail. but he is denying that he approved risky or reckless loans when he worked at chicago broadway bank. giannoulias will face kirk in the general election this fall. texas governor rick perry won his way to the november ballot with a victory in tuesday's republican primary. carl cameron tells us what it means for the national picture. >> reporter: two-term incumbent governor rick perry won renomination in the texas primary. with a blow-out 53-31% victory over kay bailey hutchison. perry cast his win as a warning shot at the obama
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administration. and overreaching out of control federal government. >> from driftwood, texas, to washington, d.c., we're sending you a message tonight. stop messing with texas. >> soundly defeated in a costic name-calling campaign, hutchison tried to concede gracefully. >> a contested primary will naturally leave hard feeling but i ask my supporters tonight all through texas to join me and unite behind governor perry. >> reporter: during the campaign, perry blasted hutchison as a washington insider, tapped national voter anger at big government for intruding on state's rights and individual liberties. >> a simple compelling message to washington: quit spending all the money! stop trying to take over our lives and businesses. >> reporter: though perry won a g.o.p. primary, he compared it to the recent general election wins in which republicans scored big
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pick-ups ousting democrats. >> there was a victory in new jersey, there was a victory in virginia, there was a victory in massachusetts. [ applause ] and now there has been a victory in texas! [ applause ] >> reporter: the democratic nomination was easily won by former houston mayor bill white who immediately turned his sights on perry. >> texans deserve a new governor who is more interested in the future of texans than his own political future. >> reporter: perry plans to link white to president obama and democratic party running amok in washington that perry says threatens texas and the nation. >> we have to remain attuned to the threat by a federal government that continues to overreach, overspend and try to overdraw our children's bank accounts in the future. >> reporter: despite perry's attempts to tap the anti-washington sentiment, every single republican and democratic incumbent in the u.s. congress won their
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primary for house re-election yesterday. >> bret: we updated the u.s. senate race in illinois. there is another update tonight on another u.s. senate race. >> reporter: yeah, one of the more vulnerable democratic seats is the one occupied currently by kirsten gillibrand who was appointed to on the seat when secretary hillary clinton left the senate and took her current job. republican sources in new york and in washington say that dan seymour, the spokesman for the provisionage coalition authority in iraq has been working toward making a final decision and entering the race. he's expected to announce it as soon as this week he'll get in as republican nominee candidate. >> bret: okay, carl. interesting. thanks. things are so bad for new york's governor he may be in trouble for going to a baseball game. and the not-so-secret weapon in the washington political game. it's called "recreation." we will explain it all next. toyota has done a lot of search and a lot of work, and we've been open 24 hours a day -- 7 days a week. and we've made a tremendous amount of progress. you know, safety and reliability is top priority.
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>> bret: with any war, literal or political, there
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are sometimes extreme tactics available but rarerarely used. in the healthcare fight it's a senate process called "recreation." senior correspondent brian wilson explains how it might work and what it might look like. >> reporter: the united states senate, the world's greatest deliberative body. george washington told jefferson the senate was the saucer of which the hot tea of the house was poured to cool, a place where things can move at a slower pace so great statesmen can ponder matters deeply. as we learned in the movie "mr. smith goes to washington --" >> up there for graft or greed or lies or compromise of liberties. >> reporter: one senator can shut down all debate on a bad bill with a filibuster, right? no, that's not right at all. enter a parliamentary device known as "recreation." it's also called "the nuclear option."
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so named because the minority, in this case, the republican, will have all-out b backlash. as pointed out in a youtube video past budget reconciliation measure took 70 hours of debate. though that is a lot of time on the legislative clock, there won't be much time for discussion. >> under the previous order there will be two minutes of debate equally divided. >> ten seconds, senator webb who is a quick speaker. >> senator's time is expired. >> senator's one minute expired. >> reporter: major provisions of this big and controversial healthcare reform bill will likely be pushed through after only seconds of discuss. >> all time is expired. >> ultimately it may come down to a decision made by unelect ed senate staffer. the senate parliamentarian must move the matters in the bill are not extraneous to the budgetary process.
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if they go thumbs down on using recreation to pass healthcare reform, there is still one person who can ram it through. for democrats have a secret weapon. vice president joe biden. >> h.r.-4314. >> reporter: the vice president of the united states is the president of the senate. and as such, joseph biden can completely overrule the parliamentary in the senate. there is one other step in the process. the president mentioned it the other day. >> i think we have to go ahead and make decisions and then that is what elections are for. >> reporter: right, the voters have a final, final say in a year when one-third of the senate and all of the house of representatives is up for re-election. god bless the founding fathers. in washington, brian wilson, fox news. >> bret: well, the effort to get enough votes to avoid something as drastic as reconciliation has led democrats to look at traditionally republican issue. tort reform for malpractice lawsuits. chief washington correspondent jim angle tells us what is in involved.
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>> reporter: president obama is taking a small step on one issue republicans believe is an easy way to reduce healthcare cost. >> it incorporates the best ideas from democrats and republican republicans, including stochl ideas the republicans offered in the summit. funding state grant on medical malpractice reform. >> reporter: the president agrees with the medical profession that defensive medicine, doctors ordering unnecessary tests to protect themselveses is pushing up the cost of healthcare. >> the courts are clogged up with these cases. physicians are afraid of being hauled in court. as a result, order tests they o order tests ordinarily they wouldn't order. >> reporter: democratic think tank found some states have already tried such reforms and that expand them nationally would reap massive savings. >> we found roughly between 92 and $207 billion per year can be saved from reducing defensive medicine. >> how?
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what some states have done is allowed unlimited actual damages for injuries but cap damages for pain and suffering, limiting that to $250,000. but doctors would still worry about the reputations so analysts don't think that would end unnecessary testing, but something else might. >> the specific proposal for health court or something like it or specialized court for making medical decision and medical judgment. >> another would be to say physicians who practice medicine according to certain scientific principles, performance measures would be presumed to have done it right and introduce that evidence in court. >> analysts say only 2% of injured patients actually file suit in part because it's such an onerous and drawn out process. so they say specialized court and other reforms might make it easier for injured patients to recover damages. >> the speed of which you can get compensated would be a matter of months. right now it takes 3 to 5 years for a patient to get an
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award. >> reporter: with longer lawsuits more than half the money can go to lawyers and the courts. doctors groups point to the success of tort reform in texas, which had been losing doctors by the thousands. after the reforms, it licensed the highest number of doctors in its history and brought care to many areas of the state that had been begging for it. bret? >> bret: jim, thank you. private trade group says the u.s. service sector is growing at its fastest rate in more than two years. up about 6% in february. another report found private payrolls fell by 20,000 last month, the smallest decline in two years. stocks were mixed today. the dow lost it 1/4. s&p 500 up a half a point. nasdaq fell a tenth of a point. case of child's play has air traffic controller taking unscheduled time off. we look at how the west might be won once again by republicans.
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>> bret: as you know sometimes parents have to get creative on work days when their children are out of school. this afternoon we learned one air traffic controller in new york may have crossed the line with two children last month. senior correspondent eric shawn has that story tonight from new york. good evening, eric. >> reporter: good evening, bret. you know if you work as an air traffic controller you can't take your child to work. but whatever you do, don't let the kids handle the take-offs. that apparently is what happened at new york's j.f.k. airport. controller and supervisor now on administrative leave after the agency says the controller let his young son and another child on two separate days last month clear big airliners for take-off. we know of two. jet blue flight 171 to sacramento and the other was
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aeromexico flight to mexico city, 403. caught on tape of radio transmissions. >> flight 171, clear for take-off. >> clear for take-off. 171. >> reporter: this reportedly happened in the president's school holiday week. the association says this is not indicative of the highest standards controllers set for themselves. even though the children were being supervised but the real danger is controller distraction. doug lato, aviation lawyer, says there is no excuse. . >> the fact that someone was not hurt here does not detract from the fact that the controllers allowed attention to be distracted, deviated from their professionalism and at the
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end of the day, that impacts the safety of the flying public. >> reporter: in a statement, the faa says pending the outcome of the investigation, the employees involved in the incident are not controlling air traffic. this behavior is not acceptable and does not demonstrate the kind of professionalism expected from all faa employees. some are thinking that this is all being blown out of proportion. republican senator olympia snowe member of the transportation committee is calling it surprising and stunning and so serious she thinks that there should be congressional hearings. bret? >> bret: either way, pretty interesting, eric. thank you. international headlines, secretary of state hillary clinton was in brazil today to try to gain support for new sanctions against iran. but before the visit, president dasilva said iran should not be pushed against a wall over the nuclear program. massachusetts democratic senator john kerry says he does not believe relations between syria and israel are nearing a flash point. kerry spoke with syrian
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president sunday by phone. they talked about the recent visit to damascus by iranian leader mahmoud ahmadinejad. kerry said no one should be surprised by the anti-american comments at that meeting. suicide bombers hitz three targets northeast of baghdad today and insurgents attacked a government housing office in baquba and then provincial government headquarters and finally a hospital. at least 32 people died. the attacks precede sunday parliamentary election which will again operate under u.s.-backed quota mandating women get one-fourth of the seats. today, women were out campaigning for votes. sex, celebrity and poll t -- politics are all part of tonight's grapevine. forget about a free lunch. the new york governor finds out there is
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paterson could be hit with penalties of nearing $100,000. an illinois republican congressional candidate who is preaching the need for fiscal restraint lost his condo in foreclosure last year. the chicago daily herald reports joe walsh stopped making mortgage payments in may of 2008 and was evicted last fall. walsh says his experience helped him gain a better understanding of what many americans are facing across the country, explaining that he is not a, quote, wealthy man. however, he did not address why he failed to disclose the foreclosure during his primary campaign. well, you can't say there is no sex appeal in politics. manhattan madam kristen davis, who claimed to supply former new york governor eliot spitzer with call girls, thinks she would be great at his old job. she is running for governor on a platform of fixing the budget crisis by legalizing prostitution and marijuana, what she calls p square prostitution and pot.
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porn star stormy daniels is still flirting for a run for u.s. senate louisiana. david vitter was linked to a washington prostitution ring in 2007. newest candidate for the california's governor's race is the eighth husband of zsa zsa ga advisor. von anhalt running as independent. he also supports legalizing prostitution and pot. and celebrity politician outgoing governor arnold schwarzenegger. in america's election headquarters tonight, changes out west. correspondent alicia acuna looks at how a region who went for democrats last time out might be up for grabs in november. >> riding high on the backlash against republicans, democrats in 2008 celebrated barack obama's party nomination on a denver stage. and the american west turned out
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to be good to the party come november that year. >> it really, just about the mid last decade began moving dramatically toward the democratic side. >> a year and a half later, polling shows that trend may be reversing. according to the cook political report, four western governor seats currently held by democrats are toss-ups, leaning or likely becoming republican in this year's elections. three western u.s. senate seats held by democrats are also listed as in jeopardy. along with at least four democratically held seats in the u.s. house of representatives. >> voters out west have always swung back and forth between the two parties. >> the pendulum at the moment not so much toward republicans but away from dems. >> a lot of the divorce that obama -- voters that obama brought to the polls in 2008 don't seem to be approving 6 his job performance now. >> for example, colorado, on election deo bama won by a 9 point margin. a higher percentage than the national average.
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that popularity is now contrasted in the rocky mountain state with the president's approval rating lower than many parts of the country. >> i think that obama, by so committing himself to health care is essentially telling these democrats you are on your own. >> pat walk, who chairs the colorado democratic party is confident voters here will ultimately focus on the candidates in individual races. >> and they will make their decisions on that basis and not what is happening, you know, a thousand miles away. >> having led the democratic advance into the american west, voters in colorado will closely be watched as they cast their ballot later this year. >> colorado is really the harr harr bon jerry of what is going on in the country. >> still seven months until midterm, if the current trend stay once track, the american west could pipes purple and head straight to red on its way to the ballot box. in denver, alicia acuna, fox
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news. >> bret: at least 50 same sex couples lined up for marriage licenses today. this is the first day such unions are legal in d.c. there is a mandatory waiting period of three business days so the first marriages can take place here march 9th. the president unveils his health care plan in less than two weeks, but is there anything in it for republicans? the fox all stars weigh in next.
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>> for us to start over now could simply lead to delays that could last for another decade or even more. the american people and the u.s. economy just can't wait that long. so, no matter which approach you favor, i believe the united states congress owes the american people a final vote on health care reform. >> this is really not an argument between democrats and
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republicans. it's an argument between democrats and the american people. >> they use reconciliation at their peril. i have said before that if indianapolis pelosi rams this bill through on reconciliation, she will lose her majority in the house in november. >> bret: well, president obama outlining his plan saying health care reform must be passed now by congress no matter what. what about this speech today and the way forward? let's bring in our panel. fred barnes executive editor of "the weekly standard." kirsten powers, columnist of "the new york post." and syndicated columnist charles krauthammer. charles, the president delivered this speech again choosing to use health care professionals as the back drop in part, doctors and nurses up on the stage with him. and delivered a speech that he has delivered before in many, many phrases. >> the staging was a little bit staged and stiff. but i think the process is exactly what we predicted a week ago. the president and the leaders in the house and the senate had decided they are going to go to
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reconciliation, which is essentially we are going to do it one party. party line vote. that's what they are going for. but they wanted to present it to the american citizenry as having tried to reach out. that's why you had the charade of the summit last week. seven hours of discussion when it was all pre-cooked that that wouldn't change anything. that's why you had yesterday, the release of the changes that obama was heralding as leaning over towards republicans, for example, tort reform which are absolutely insignificant and almost comical. with tort reform he is offering for a problem that we heard earlier in the program costs the american medical system 100, $200 billion a year. he is offering a few pilot programs which are utterly meaningless and will amount to one half of 100th of 1% of the cost of obama care. that's part of the deal. he wants to appear to be offering to incorporate republican proposals and now the pivot, which we had today, obama
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says i tried, i reached out, republicans are stubborn, oppositionists and -- i'm going to go for on a party line vote for a noon campaigned as the man who would transcend partisanship. it's ironic but these this is what he has decided to do. >> bret: key change minds today? we talked how important this step is in the house. late today bart stupak talked to fox business network and the abortion funding and the concern moving forward there. take a quick listen. >> if it is the proposal that the senate passed and nothing changed in it, the senate health care bill, that's the one they are presenting in reconciliation, to the members of the house of representatives, i will bet you that won't even come close to passing. it will be defeated soundly. members do not want to vote for it not only do they not like the bill. the process has been tainted and we're not going to attach our names to it. >> bret: congressman stupak says he has 12, 13 members siding
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with him. how tough is this and did the president change the ballgame at all today? >> um, i don't know if the president changed the ballgame that much. i think what some people are looking for was for some leadership. i think he is finally showing some leadership on the issue. and they think maybe they will get a little cover from him. i would go with nancy pelosi over bart stupak, frankly. nancy pelosi says she has the votes. they are hoping to pick up some some -- vote for the bill because it has more cost containment, more conservative. they think that they can rangel the votes and bart stupak, most of those members he is talking about they will be able to do abortion fix in reconciliation, hopefully. and that they will be able to bring them on. brt bret you know, fred, there are 52 blue dogs, fiscally conservative democrats. 49 of them come from districts that john mccain won in 2008. there is another issue of how
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many who voted yes last time might not want to walk that plank this time. >> great opportunity for them. they voted yes back before thanksgiving in the house. and gives them to a chance to vote no. the bill is even less popular now than it was back then by, i don't know, 10, 15, maybe 20 percentage points. cnn poll shows three to one the american people are against this bill. they would rather start over or do nothing. so, there is no percentage in their voting again. i don't believe nancy pelosi is anywhere near having enough votes. if you are going to rely on -- you are in a lot of trouble. there is no incentive. this was obama's 35th speech on health care. the more he gives the less popular it become. 10 of the no votes last time at the white house tonight one of whose brother jim -- his brother just got an appeals court judgeship out in the tenth circuit just named for that not
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buying anything, interesting fact today i thought i would throw in there. >> coincidence. >> i think the timing is very, very interesting. look, there is nothing in it for people to vote for this. it's unpopular. and if they can get out of it, they will. think of this. if i were a house member, what would i worry about the most? that is voting for the senate bill and then expecting the senate to make changes in it through reconciliation. you could just see senators there, bret, saying, well, you know, they passed the bill and we have health care bill and you know reconciliation, if we do that now that will blow up the senate. it will be hard in years to come and we may be in the minority and, you know, it would just -- it would be so divisive. maybe we shouldn't do it. >> bret: we have seen a lot of tape in 2005 of democrats. we have played a lot of it here. there is a new piece of tape of senator obama referring to health care specifically and how to get it through congress. >> if we want to transform the country though, that requires a
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sizeable majority. >> have you got to break out what i call the 50-plus one pattern presidential politics. maybe you eke out a victory 50 plus one. then you can't govern. you know, you get air force one and i mean there are a lot of nice perks. but you can't deliver on health care. we're not going to pass universal health care with 50 plus one strategy. >> bret: he is trying, right? >> look. that's one of the reasons his numbers are now in the low 40s. this is a man who ran again as the man who would clean up washington, undo its wicked ways, banish the lobbyists, take all all the mac kin nations and back room deals. is he demanding members of the house and the senate ram through a procedure that its inventor robert byrd has said would be violation of the spirit of the law reconciliation if it were to be ram through this way.
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look, i'm not disillusioned by obama because i was never allusioned. and those who believed in yes, we can means yes, i can do anything i damn well pleased if i have the one vote majority. >> bret: kirsten, finally, white house passed the senate with 60 votes, passed the house already in a house health care plan, and they say, you know, we are going to move forward on the simple majority. politically, is this going to get really ugly for this white house and the democratic congress? >> i think on the face of it, i actually don't think the average american cares that much about reconciliation. but what will happen is the republicans will demagogue it. and they will turn it into something that they have already done, which is pretend that we never used reconciliation, pretend they never used reconciliation, pretend that the last 16 out of 21 times we used reconciliation it was republicans that were doing it and the white house will be caught flat-footed like they always are. and i think that -- and then next thing you know americans are going to believe that
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something really dirty just went down in washington when, in fact, it is pretty standard operating procedure. >> the good news is we will never get there. it's not going to pass the house, you know. you believe in nancy pelosi, has she produced in public a single no vote from last time that says i'm voting yes this time? >> they have about nine people. >> can i tell you ones in public bart stupak, bill owe pinsky of chicago, a gal of the republican who voted for it. >> bret: down the line really quick, does it pass the house the first step. >> no. >> yeah. >> yes. >> bret: that's a large pause for charles. >> he didn't want to agree with me. >> that's right. >> bret: does it get through. >> i think it fails because of the dense foliage in the senate. the procedure is so arcane and complicated, i think it's going to get stopped there and not in the house. >> can i make one point? reconciliation has never been used for anything of this size
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and scope nor in 200 years have we ever had anything of the size and scope pass on a pure party line vote. >> bret: we have more on health care reform news on the "special report" home page. you can hear kirsten on the online show tonight finish this thought. much more on this topic. and you just log on there. you can vote on the your choice online right there on the side. the poll. check it out during the break. come back in three minutes. they tell me i was there, but i don't remember.
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>> north dakota to avoid my colleagues having to defend me during my elections, i have, this morning, sent a letter to speaker pelosi asking her to
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grant me a leave of absence. >> there is nothing in the rules of the house that refers to temporarily stepping aside. either you are the chairman or you are not. >> well, there is a question about that as house ways and means committee chairman powerful chairman charlie rangel stepped aside temporarily today as ethics committee investigations continue. we're back with the panel. fred, what about this. >> i suspect he won't be back. this is one of the lesser charges. it's one -- taking these flights that were paid for down to whatever that conference was. i forget where it was. the more serious charge is the one that he didn't report earnings on his tax returns and pay taxes. now, the ethics committee hasn't gotten that one yet or hasn't ruled on it look, he had been admonished on this one. if he had to step down for this and there are other things, too. his apartments in harlem and so on. there are a variety of things. so, when they are going to come
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along bing, bing, bing, bing. he will be admonished to work on those. i think pete stark, who is stepping in now to be the chairman of the ways and means committee, will be there for a while. >> bret: kirsten, is this the beginning of a narrative of a culture of corruption? you have back in 2006 house speaker nancy pelosi talking about her efforts on the ethics front. and then she was asked about charlie rangel specifics just this past weekend. >> we will make this the most honest, ethical, and open congress in history: a violation of the rule of the house was not something that jeopardized our country in any way. >> bret: is this starting to become a narrative? >> well, for a narrative, you need to have more than one person. i think that certainly people will be looking for the narrative and the fact that she held this up as being we are going to be so ethical and then says something that is unbelievable she thinks that's an okay thing to say. and the fact that she stood by
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rangel when it was pretty clear what was going on. i think she still wanted to continue to stand by rangel, frankly and was sort -- her hand was forced and he left. i think i agree with fred. i think he is gone. i don't think. >> bret: gone from the chairmanship. >> i think what's coming down the pike is going to be much worse than this little admonishment that he just got. >> bret: charles? >> i would agree. i think you are right, kirsten. you do need more than one example in the house. what we have had this year, of course, is the governorships, illinois, and new york, other places that have been rather messy. it's not yet attached to the democrats as a party and certainly not the party in the house and the senate. if it does, they are in deep trouble. because in the wave election of 16 years ago, if was not just the failure of health care that triggered the demise of the democrats. it was the culture of corruption. there was -- and that -- once it sticks, it's hard to get rid of. i must say in rangel -- i wouldn't say in defense.
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he has to step down if you are the chairman of the tax writing committee and you have these offenses pending accusation of not paying your taxes or declaring income. it's serious stuff. none the less, these are not political felonies. it's an abuse of power. if you are in power for as long as he is, you stretch the perks a little bit. and in a sense, it's a strategy. he has been an iconic, historic congressman, and i take no pleasure in seeing his what i think is probably his slow exit under terms. friday is -- people who have overstepped, as i think is essentially what he did. >> you know, purely on the republicans getting along with the chairman, they get along -- they got along okay with rangel. pete stark? they hate him. he hates them. it will be a dogfight. >> bret: explosive at least. more on this on the online show as well. that's it for the panel. stay tuned for what could be another development in the rangel case.
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>> bret: finally tonight as we just mentioned congressman charlie rangel is facing other ethics allegations including income from a rental property in the dominican republic and he has apparently traveled there quite a bit. >> i wonder if a picture exists like somehow incapsulate the cluelessness of that ethical misjudgment. the arrogance bred by 40 years in congress but also added a comic twist. is there a picture that could do that? i wonder? yeah! that's the real picture of him at his dominican villa. anybody is fall asleep on their lounge chair it takes a pro to do it this amusingly. >> bret: thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. that is it for this "special report," fair, balanced, and unafraid. "special
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